Michael-Paul James

Undergradute Degree: Bachelor of Music in Composition

Undergraduate Institution: Georgia Southern University

Gradute Degrees: Master of Architecture, Master of Urban Design

Graduate Institution: University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Trade Organization Membership: CoreNet, IREM, ULI

Licenses and Certifications: NC Real Estate License

What is your professional background? 
I worked in construction, as a mechanic, and in retail through high school. I worked as a tutor, and computer tech through college. Immediately after college, I worked in every position in the restaurant industry, as well as a musician and dancer. For the last 13 years, I have specialized in entertainment technology design, winning both local and national awards for event, nightclub and church design. 

Why did you choose to pursue the M.S. in Real Estate degree at UNC Charlotte?
I want to work in development. I am concurrently earning three masters degrees in architecture, urban design, and real estate; the three cornerstones of the development process.

What have been some of the highlights of your program experience so far? 
I have enjoyed exploring the various components of development: throwing out the numbers in architecture to explore creative possibilities, looking at the landscape in urban design to unravel the social networks organic to location, then stripping away the politics to discover the actuality and budgetary conditions inherent to a given site. It isn't a singular experience but the amalgamation of difference that has given me joy, an overall arc of exponentially evolving comprehension.

How has the MSRE program helped you advance your career? 
The MSRE program has unraveled the mystery of financial feasibility intrinsic to the development process, essential to realizing the economic possibilities of a given site and the potential roadblocks to a particular vision.

What are your plans after graduation? 
I would like to work for a large development firm, preferably one with in-house design, brokerage, and investment divisions. I want to get licensure in urban planning (AICP), architecture (NCARB), and commercial real estate (NCREC) in service of developing the skill set to manage deals from conception to completion.